Half the management of the 'Little Bellows Forge' Edit
The not so short story. Edit
In a little old town called Ling, just south of Caster. There lived a merry group of people, with a bustling market of fresh fruit, home to the finest smoked fish money can buy this side of nobility, as well as a selection of stalls with exquisite creations... the likes the known world could only dream of.
On one of these stalls, was the home of a Halfling couple. Known as Tapper and Dorris Icklesmith, and It wasn’t just a clever name. These tiny folk were the finest smiths in town and were well known for the excellent level of detail they left on their armour with their tiny tools and sense of pride... which was anything but tiny.
They were also known for their wild parties, where they treated guests to delicious recipes from around the world and entertained for hours with songs and dances that lasted into the early mornings.
One of Tappers talents was dancing on top of the forge without burning his feet! Causing much merriment to be had by the crowd each time he clambered up there, this did lead to the occasional burning smell coming from his feet hair but then again,
“A icklesmith who fears the fire is not worthy of being a smith!” as old Bucksaw Icklesmith used to say.
Over the years, Tapper and Dorris became sought after for their craft and soon enough, upgraded the forge with more space, allowing them to start a family of their own with the birth of twins, Smudge, a girl and Sproggs, a boy.
Smudge was small, even for a halfling. She had gorgeous silken hair that was always tied up in pig tails and was one of the most curious halflings to ever grace Ling with an appearance. She was never seen without her precious doll Gooseberry.
Her brother, Sproggs, was a head taller and had golden brown hair that shone in the sun.He was interested in building stuff and was always found with his hammer in hand making something from something for someone.
One day, while working in the forge, a guard came to the door, red faced and sweating.
“Tapper, you need to keep these under control.” the man said, holding out a pair of halflings by their collar. The pair struggled to get away as the guard put them down... until Tapper yelled at the pair and ordered them inside.
“What is it?” He asked the young flings from ling. “What is it that makes you run away?” he asked the twins.
Smudge looked at her brother, “We wanted to be heroes!” she said bravely to her father. “Like the ones you told us about when grandpa was a smith!” she added.
Sproggs nodded with glee, his goggles bouncing off his head and into his lap. “We want to be like gramps! We wanna be bada-“ he paused mid sentence and covered his sisters ears, “We wanna be badass monster hunters and make ourselves known!” he said removing his hands.
Tapper smiled, “Halfling heroes?” he said smiling, “But we’re Icklesmiths!” he explained as he took a seat next to his children, “We’re already heroes! If we were to go and fight dragons then where would the knights get their weapons from? We’re here because they need that doing, and we eat well because of it!” he finished proudly patting his belly.
The twins giggled and nodded, Sproggs looked at his father. “So can we be icklesmiths too?” he asked nervously, with a look of wonder.
Tapper looked down at his children with pride, “Nothing would make me prouder Sproggs.” he said happily, scooping the pair into his arms and lifting them up onto his shoulders.
From that day on, Tapper taught the pair to be master smiths like his father did. He taught Smudge how to detail armour while showing Sproggs how to make strong weapons.
He helped Smudge fix links of chain together and knit them so they were strong. He showed Sproggs how to make a heavy hammer weighted to deal lethal damage and even offered to teach the pair how to dance on the coals! Though they were eager to decline this offer.
As the years passed on, the twins became skilled at their craft. Helping around the forge and looking after the family pigs that had become famous for their excellent courier services. Smudge had become a master of detail with her armour making and Sproggs was capable of making a weapon out of any material handed to him.
But they never forgot that sense of adventure that they once chased after as kids. That feeling of whimsical wonder that came from tracking a beast and finding the treasure! Each time they worked on a set of armour for a travelling adventurer they’d ask about their journey, where they’re heading and trade stories. Smudge would even paint them sometimes for the odd bit of coin while sproggs sold them bottles of home made drinks and biscuits for their journey.
On the twins birthday, at second tea around the table, Tapper and Dorris had an announcement for the twins.
“Kids, we’ve never been more proud of you than we are now. You’re amazing smiths and you really put the family name to pride.” Tapper said looking at his family. “and that’s why, we’re retiring and leaving you the forge.” he added smiling.
Smudge looked up sadly, “Retiring?” she said with tears coming down her cheek, “But you said you were getting better.... you’re dying?” she sobbed.
Sproggs choked on his drink, “they’re quitting being a blacksmith smudge not dying. That’s what retiring is.” he said still coughing.
Smudge looked at her brother, “oh! well that sounds lovely.” she said turning back to her parents.
Dorris dabbed her brow, “Yes exactly! we’re getting too old for this now, we want to take some time to relax, we’re heading to yurnmouth tomorrow to see some of the world.” she said smiling.
Sproggs nodded, “don’t worry we’ll take care of the forge.” he said proudly.
Tapper looked at his wife before slowly turning back to his kids. “We also got you these.” he said brandishing two boxes.
The twins took the boxes and opened them up, inside was a unsigned permit for weapons and a blue permit from the blacksmiths guild.
Sproggs looked up, “What are these?” he asked inquisitively.
Tapper smiled, “Those are permits for carrying weapons and to show your membership in the blacksmiths guild.” he explained. “Your mother and I, we want you to go live your dreams and adventure.” he said slowly, “We want you to take your old weapons and that shield and go have fun!” he proudly shouted.
Smudge jumped up on the table, eating knife in hand, “we will be tiny heroes!” she shouted happily.
And when Sir Gaspar passed through ling the next day, their journey began.